Eat healthy: By eating three healthy meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), people can get the nutrients their bodies need for the day. Vegetables can be incorporated in meals and as snack; the more greens the better. For example, lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, green peppers and asparagus are highly nutritious. Apples are good between-meal snacks as well. (Remember the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”). Oranges and orange juice have vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system.
Keep hydrated: Organs, tissues and cells in the body need water to function properly. Eight glasses is the recommended number for daily water intake.
Get lots of rest: The proper amount of sleep is eight hours every night. No less, no more. The body’s immune system and organs need rest to properly function throughout the day and have enough energy to fight off germs and viruses that are harmful.
Physical activity: Walking, jogging, playing a sport, dancing and working out in a gym are some examples of keeping physical throughout the day. The body is in the best shape to fight off viruses and germs when it is physically fit.
Wash hands often: The recommended length of time to wash hands is 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Scrub all surfaces of your hands including the backs of the hands, wrists, between fingers and underneath fingernails. Rubbing hands with only sanitizers is not a good idea because it kills good germs as well as bad germs. If someone is near a sink with soap it is the better choice. Sanitizers should be used in emergencies such as in an office, in class and on a bus. Washing and sanitizing hands limits the possibility of transferring viruses and bacteria to one’s self and to others. Always remember to avoid touching your face with your hands.
Disinfect surface areas and rooms: The flu and cold viruses thrive in warm areas such as indoors. Germs spread more easily in an enclosed area so wipeshared equipment such as telephones and keyboards between uses with rubbing alcohol. Cough or sneeze into a tissue rather than your hands and put used tissues into wastebaskets. An easy way to stay away from germs is to avoid crowded areas with poor ventilation.
Fresh air is good for the body: The myth that cold weather gets someone sick is false. People infect people with germs and viruses. During the winter, the degree of temperature someone is exposed to during the course of one day does not weaken his or her immune system. Only long periods of exposure to temperatures low enough to cause hypothermia may stress the immune system because the body is working hard to stay warm and keep vital organs protected.
Flu shot: As long as someone is not already infected with the flu virus, the shot will help prevent future infections for the year.
–All information provided by Mayo Clinic website; Southern Wellness Center website, Diane Morgenthaler, Granoff Health Center director; Brigitte Stiles, associate director of Health Services for wellness programs